Guide to best Sony E-Mount 35mm Lenses for a7III/a7II/a7rIV/a7RIII

review sharpness 42mp high resolution sample test vergleich comparison bokeh handling build quality a7riii autofocus af close macro

35mm is a very popular focal length with a wide range of applications ranging from landscape over astrophotography to environmental portraiture and many consider it the best choice when only using one prime lens. We decided to summarize our experience with all the native E-mount and a few legacy 35mm lenses for the Sony A7 series to give you a compact and independent resource for choosing the best 35mm lens for your needs.

Unlike most other review sites we have no association with any lens manufacturer apart from occasionally loaning a lens for a review. We prefer independence over fancy trips and nice meals.

Before any short introduction we tell you how long we have used a lens and if we have borrowed it from a manufacturer. But in most cases we have bought the lenses new from retail stores or on the used market. If you want to support our independent reviews please consider using one of the affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you anything and helps us a lot.

If we have left any question unanswered please leave a comment and we will do our best to answer it.

Last update: November 2021

5 Questions to consider before deciding on a 35mm lens

There is no best 35mm lens for everyone, since individual needs are so different. This is why you won’t find any ratings in terms of stars or points out of 5 in this guide. Instead here are 5 questions to help you reflect on what you need in a 35mm lens. If you already know what you need you can skip to the lenses discussion directly.

1. What will you use your 35mm lens for and which performance aspects matter to you?

A lens might perform very well for one application and fail for others. The Zeiss Loxia 2/35 for example is a favorite of many landscape photographers but we can only recommend against using it for a wedding. Our favorite wedding lens, the Sigma 1.2/35, on the other hand is a behemoth of a lens you probably don’t want to carry on a longer hike. Other lenses like the Sony FE 1.8/35 aren’t the best in any category but cover a wide range of applications well enough. So before deciding on a lens you should ask yourself what you want to use your lens for. Here we present a few scenarios to make it clearer what aspects matter for those.

sigma 35mm 1.2 art dg dn sharpness resolution contrast high 42mp a7rii a7riii bokeh za sony
Sony A7rII | Sigma 35mm 1.2 Art | f/1.2

When shooting a wedding you will probably care most about bokeh, good sharpness across most of the frame from wide open, speed and AF which should be fast and reliable. Price may or may not be an important aspect. Requirements for shooting family are similar with a bigger emphasis on AF-speed for smaller children.

sigma 35mm 1.4 art hsm dg sharpness coma astro astrophotography milky way astigmatism
Sony A7III | Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art | f/1.4 | pano from 4 shots

For astro-photography you want a fast lens with good coma correction and as little vignetting as possible. Many people also prefer manual lenses here.

When photographing a landscape or architecture you will probably care about good sharpness at f/8 or f/11, high contrast, good flare resistance, manual focus experience and maybe nice sunstars or small weight.

2. What is your budget?

You can spend anywhere from $150 to $1500 for a 35mm E-mount lens. You can also adapt a good legacy 35mm for a little over $50. As a rule of thumb more money gets you better optical quality, better build quality, better reliability and faster lenses. There are some rather embarrassing exceptions to this rule of thumb in the E-mount 35mm lineup though.

taken with a $50 Canon nFD 2.8/35

How much should you spend? If you are on a very tight budget but a competent photographer you will get very good results out of a $50 lens but you will have to deal with a few scenarios where you would have gotten better results with a more expensive lens. But keep in mind we all know that guy who reliably gets bad results out of his $4000 Leica lens. Since available income differs so much it is impossible to give a general recommendation here but it is a good idea to consider how much you will use a lens, how much joy you will get out of using it and count that against much how much you will miss the money it cost you.

When considering the price of a lens also look at the long term cost of it. A cheap $350 lens which breaks after 1 year of use costs you $350 for a year of use. A more expensive $600 lens you bought used that can be sold after a year for $550 costs you $50 for a year of use. And it was probably more enjoyable to use in that year. There is also an effect called “early adopter tax”: the value of newly released lenses usually depreciates rather quickly in the first year.

3. Size & Weight

Samyang 1.4/35 | Sony FE 1.8/35 | Voigtlander 1.2/40

The lightest 35mm E-mount lens ist the Samyang 2.8/35 at 86g, while the heaviest lens, the Sigma 1.2/35, weighs 1090g. The three most important factors for the weight of a lens are speed, vignetting and the degree of optical correction. The Sigma 1.2/35 is not only 2.5 stops faster than the Samyang: its optical design is also a lot more complex which results in much higher sharpness and better correction of aberrations. The Sigma also has a lot less vignetting.

Again needs are very different: If you do a lot of hiking you probably don’t want to carry the very heavy Sigma, but a slower, lighter lens. As a wedding photographer on the other hand performance will usually be more important than weight. Lenses also need to fit into your camera bag.

4. How fast does it need to be?

A faster f/1.4 lens allows you to blur your background more than a slower f/2.8 lens and it also lets in more light, allowing for lower ISO or shorter shutter speeds. Faster lenses are usually bigger, heavier and more expensive than slower lenses but there are exceptions to both rules we mention in the discussion of each lens.

So how fast does your lens need to be? If you chose a f/1.8 lens over a f/1.4 lens this will seldom make the difference between a good and a bad picture but it often is one important factor for the look of your images. Also keep in mind that the quality of the blur (bokeh) can be more important than the amount of blur.

5. Do you prefer AF or manual focus?


Most users will answer that they want an AF-lens. In that case one needs to consider how fast and how reliable AF needs to be.

Some users prefer to focus manually because it makes photography more enjoyable to them. Even some native lenses are manual focus only and they are a joy to use since they have a proper focus helicoid and a smooth focusing ring. Almost all AF E-mount lenses are less pleasant to focus manually because  they are focus-by-wire designs where there is a small but noticeable lag between the moment you turn the focus-ring and the actual change of focus and, secondly, the focus ring offers the wrong amount of resistance or even has some play. Many also have variable (non-linear) throw, meaning that the amount the focus changes when you turn the focussing right depends not just on how far you turn the focussing ring, but on how fast you turn it. In theory this helps you make big changes quickly, and then focus slowly for fine-tuning. In practice many experienced manual-lens-users find it hard to adjust to and very unpredictable.

Native 35mm Lenses with AF

Lens Weight Diameter Length Focus Front Filter  Magnification Aperture Blades Release Date List Price  Used Price
Sigma Art 1.2/35 1090g 88mm 136mm AF 82mm 0.19 11 2019 $1,499 /
Sony ZA 1.4/35 630g 79mm 112mm AF 72mm 0.18 9 2015 $1,599 $900
Samyang 1.4/35 645g 76mm 115mm AF 67mm 0.17 9 2017 $799 $400
Sigma Art 1.4/35 740g 77mm 121mm AF 67mm 0.19 9 2018 $899 $600
Sony FE 1.8/35 280g 66mm 73mm AF 55mm 0.24 9 2019 $749 /
Sony ZA 2.8/35 120g 62mm 37mm AF 49mm 0.12 9 2013 $798 $400
Samyang 2.8/35 86g 62mm 33mm AF 49mm 0.12 9 2017 $399 $210


Sigma 35mm 1.2 Art DG DN

sigma 35mm 1.2 art dg dn sharpness resolution contrast high 42mp a7rii a7riii bokeh za sony
Sony A7III | Sigma 35mm 1.2 Art | f/1.2

Status: Bought by Bastian, David and Jannik. David sold it to fund the 35mm 1.4 GM, the other two are still in use.

  • Amazing sharpness and contrast already at f/1.2 and no field curvature at infinity (resolution everywhere in the frame is as good at f/1.2 as it is at f/11!)
  • Soft bokeh with smooth transitions, for many the best among all 35mm lenses
  • Good to very good coma correction but average vignetting figures (good idea to slightly stop down for astrophotography to get a more even exposure)
  • Above average correction of purple fringing
  • GM handling with aperture ring, AF/MF switch and additional lens button
  • Above average linear distortion which is easily corrected in post
  • Big, heavy, expensive

The 35mm AF lens Bastian has been waiting for so long to couple with his Sony FE 85mm 1.4 GM. Smoothest bokeh in a 35mm lens we have seen yet and certainly the best performing f/1.2 lens in terms of optical qualities you can put on your E-mount camera.
If you are looking for something with these properties you will forget the weight when you see the resulting images.

1090g | $1499 | full Review | aperture seriessample images

buy from | B&H | | (affiliate links)

Sony FE 35mm 1.4 GM

sony fe 35mm 1.4 gm gmaster za art 1.2 contrast resolution bokeh 42mp 61mp
Sony A7III | Sony FE 35mm 1.4 GM | f/1.4

Status: Bought by David. Still in use.

  • Surprisingly small and lightweight
  • Amazing sharpness and contrast already at f/1.4 and no noticeable field curvature at infinity
  • Good bokeh
  • Good to very good coma correction but average vignetting figures
  • Above average correction of purple fringing
  • GM handling with aperture ring, AF/MF switch and additional lens button
  • expensive

One of Sony’s most impressive lenses so far. A 35mm 1.4 as small as the already small 24mm 1.4 GM – something no one here thought would be feasible. Better sharpness than anyone would ever need, good bokeh rendering.
Bastian sticks to the Sigma for even smoother bokeh, David now takes the Sony FE 35mm 1.4 GM everywhere while he enjoys carrying significantly less weight.

520g | $1399 | full Review

buy from | | B&H | | (affiliate links)


Sony/Zeiss FE 35mm 1.4 ZA

review sharpness 42mp high resolution sample test vergleich comparison bokeh handling build quality a7riii autofocus af close macro
Sony A7rII | Sony FE 35mm 1.4 ZA | f/1.4

Status: Bought and sold by David and Jannik. Loaner reviewed by Bastian.

  • Smooth bokeh in combination with decent contrast at maximum aperture leads to appealing images in many scenarios
  • Field curvature makes it a not so great performer for infinity shooting, especially at wider apertures
  • Shows onion ring structures in out of focus highlights
  • High amount of purple fringing
  • Good coma correction and average vignetting figures
  • Very high sample variation
  • Above average and wavy barrel distortion
  • Compared to the GM lenses no lens button and non linear manual focus by wire
  • Expensive

We know some of you bought one while all the planets in our solar system were perfectly aligned and therefore got a great copy, but in most cases one corner is significantly less sharp than the others, or the entire field is tilted so one side is noticeably less sharp than the other. For anyone in the market for a fast 35mm lens now – considering the alternatives – we cannot recommend this one, especially for MSRP.
This lens has been rendered useless by the Sony FE 35mm 1.4 GM.

630g | $1499 | full Review | aperture seriessample images

buy from | | B&H | | (affiliate links)


Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art DG DN

Status: not reviewed by anyone, but reliable information available

Sigma updated its classic 35mm 1.4 Art lens with better optics leading to better sharpness and nicer bokeh while making it smaller and lighter.
The only thing we could complain about: it is not as high resolving as the Sony FE 35mm 1.4 GM and also slightly heavier and bigger.

645g | $899 | Cameralabs Review 

buy from | B&H | | (affiliate links)


Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art DG HSM

sigma 35mm 1.4 art hsm dg sharpness resolution contrast high 42mp a7rii a7riii bokeh za sony
Sony A7III | Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art | f/1.4

Status: Bought and sold by Bastian (as soon as the 35mm 1.2 was available)

  • Good sharpness and contrast but also a bit of field curvature, so best used at f/5.6 to f/8.0 for infinity shooting
  • Bokeh is good but not excellent as at longer focus distances double edged structures can become noticeable
  • Shows onion ring structures in out of focus highlights
  • Purple fringing can be visible in harsh light
  • Coma correction is decent and the lens is certainly usable for astrophotography
  • AF/MF-switch, direct mechanical coupling between focus ring and focus group (the only AF lens listed here without focus-by-wire)
  • The heaviest native 35mm f/1.4 lens with AF (95g more than the Samyang)
  • Decently priced

This was Sigma’s first Art lens and they really hit a home run with this one: nice build quality, good optics, decently priced. For most that want a 35mm 1.4 with AF this is probably the most sensible and trouble free option.
It is a well balanced, versatile lens without any major downsides, something we only rarely see.
Still, the aforementioned true mirrorless Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art DG DN is probably the better choice these days.

740g | $770 | full Review | aperture seriessample images

buy from | | B&H | | (affiliate links)


Samyang 35mm 1.4 AF

Status: Owned by Phillip, still in use when AF is needed

  • Good to very good sharpness from wide open across the frame, very stopped down with some field curvature.
  • Smooth bokeh most of the time. A little nervous off-center at longer distances.
  • Rather strong CA, average vignetting and flare resistance.
  • Above average astro-performance, usable from wide open.
  • Manual focus is annoying because the default setting (can be changed with optional dock) has a too steep transmission and jumps from one distance to another with too few intermediate steps.
  • No focus button and no AF/MF-Switch. Otherwise decent build quality.
  • Froze Phillip’s a7II several time when he tried shooting a wedding with it.
  • There are quite a few reports of lenses stopping to work after a few months of work.
  • Generous 5-year-warranties from some sellers.
  • Cheap.

It is surprising how good the Samyang is optically if you conside the price. For below $400 (used) it holds its own against the more expensive 1.4/35s from Sony and Sigma. Here it is only bested by the many times as expensive Sigma 1.2/35. While manual focus is annoying AF works quite well, only video shooters will find it to be a bit loud. The downsides lie elsewhere: We are not alone in experiencing cases where the lens froze the camera so that the battery had to be removed. Personally we have had several Samyang lenses fail on us which couldn’t be repaired and from reports it seems like reliability is also an issue with this lens. This is partially offset by the generous warranty from some sellers. So it can be a decent option if you are on a tight budget and don’t depend on it but in general the Sigma 1.4/35 seems to be the better choice if you want a relatively affordable 1.4/35.

645g | $599 | review

buy from | buy from eBay | B&H (affiliate links)


Sony FE 35mm 1.8

Status: Phillip borrowed one from Sony for two weeks where he used it a lot and wrote a review.

  • Good to very good sharpness from wide open across the frame, excellent stopped down.
  • Smooth bokeh most of the time. Nervous off-center at longer distances.
  • Rather strong CA, average vignetting and flare resistance.
  • AF/MF-Switch and Focus-hold button.
  • Very fast and reliable AF.
  • Decent manual focus for an AF-lens.
  • Small and light.
  • Expensive.

While the Sony FE 1.8/35 doesn’t excel in any category it performs well in most of them and has no serious flaws. It is much more portable than the f/1.4 lenses and optically superior to the slower f/2.8 lenses. Unless very fast AF is important to you we would recommend the Sigma 2/35 over it.

Weight: 280g | Price (October 2019): 749$/699€
Review | | B&| (affiliate links)


Samyang 35mm 1.8 AF

The Samyang 35mm 1.8 AF might be a decent cheaper alternative to the slightly overpriced Sony 35mm 1.8, we haven’t tried it ourselves though and currently (November 2020) there are no trustworthy reviews available, so take this with a grain of salt.

210g | $399

buy from B&H (affiliate link)


Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN

Status: David owned his for a few months before swapping it for the GM35, Phillip has owned his for more than half a year now.

  • Good to very good sharpness from wide open across the frame, excellent stopped down.
  • Smooth bokeh even in more challenging scenarios where most other 35mm lenses fail.
  • Good but not perfect CA correction.
  • Average vignetting and flare resistance.
  • AF/MF-Switch and Aperture ring.
  • Fast and reliable AF.
  • Good manual focus for an AF-lens.
  • Feels very solid thanks to milled metal outer case.
  • A bit heavier than the 1.8/35s but still small and light.

While all 35mm lenses that came before the Sigma came with a number of optical compromises, the 2/35 doesn’t. It delivers a very convincing performance in any area with smooth rendering even in more challenging scenarios. It also feels a lot nicer in your hand. And it does all that for a few dollars less than Sony’s own 1.8/35. So the Sigma 2/35 is an easy recommendation. 

Weight: 325g | Price (July 2021): $639/619€ | B& | (affiliate links)


Sony ZA 35mm 2.8 FE

Status: Owned by David and used for some years before being sold.

A very small and light lens which is surprisingly sharp wide open, which helps make it’s relatively slow maximum aperture useful.

  • Quite high resolution at open aperture
  • Good contrast
  • Does not improve much with stopping down
  • Undefined sunstars
  • A bit more glare and contrast drop in backlight than ideal for a modern lens
  • Good AF
  • Fairly high variation as with many early FE lenses. Buy from a source when you can test or return.
  • Nothing exciting about the bokeh in either quality or quantity

This is a very small and light and decently sharp lens that is very attractive for someone who wants a lightweight 35 for hiking or similar purposes. While I expect the new Tamron 2.8/35 to be very likely an even better performer, it will be both much larger and 80% heavier. At its official price the Sony Zeiss was overpriced, but now it can often be found new at very attractive prices, and used at even lower ones.

120g | $600 | Review

buy from | B&H | (affiliate links)


Samyang 35mm 2.8 AF

Status: Owned briefly by David, but returned due to sample issues

A natural competitor to the Sony Zeiss for a tiny pancake 35. It’s even lighter and smaller than the Sony Zeiss, a decent sample would probably be as sharp, though the build is not as nice. I returned mine due to tilt, and decided not to try again because of the hassle of Samyang sample variation.

  • Decently sharp: sharper than most legacy 35s (at least in the areas not subject to the tilt my copy showed)
  • Decent flare control
  • Good CA correction.
  • Wonderfully small and light, and inexpensive
  • OK AF but not as good as the Sony Zeiss
  • Slightly cheap feeling build and hood  (but this by itself doesn’t predict actual internal build quality)
  • My copy had field tilt, and I think you would have to buy from a source that allows many returns.

If you can find a good copy this is very inexpensive and optically decent, and perhaps a good lens to take on expeditions where every gram counts, and where there is the possibility of damaging the lens and you don’t want to take something expensive.

95g | $265 |

buy from | B&H | |  (affiliate links)


Tamron 35mm 2.8 Di III OSD M1:2

Status: borrowed from German Tamron distributor by Phillip for a few weeks

  • Very good sharpness at infinity
  • Good flare resistance
  • High vignetting
  • Very lightweight but not very small
  • Maximum magnification of 1:2
  • Slow autofocus and bad manual focus experience

The 35mm 2.8 is probably the best ouf of Tamron’s wide f/2.8 primes, but there are so many (faster) 35mm options available these days, it becomes somewhat hard to recommend unlike you really don’t need a lens faster than f/2.8.

210g | $299 | Review | aperture series

buy from | | B&H | (affiliate links)


Native 35mm Lenses without AF

Lens Weight Diameter Length Focus Front Filter  Magnification Aperture Blades Release Date List Price 
SLRmagic 1.2/35 Cine 466g 65mm 72mm MF 52mm 0.12 13 2017 $399
Voigtlander 35mm F1.4 Nokton Classic 262g 67mm 40mm MF 58mm 0.16 10 2018 $799
7artisans 35mm f/1.4 275g 63mm MF 46mm 0.13< 11 2019 $199
Zeiss Loxia 2/35 Biogon T* 340g 62mm 66mm MF 52mm 0.17 10 2014 $1,299

Laowa 35mm 0.95 Argus

laowa 35mm 0.95 worlds fastest lens review bokeh 42mp 61mp laowa venus optics venuslens fullframe contrast resolution bokeh optical vignetting fall off
Sony A7III | Laowa 35mm 0.95 | f/0.95

Status: bought and reviewed by Bastian.

  • Unique specifications
  • Amazing bokeh rendering
  • Sharp where it matters
  • Above average vignetting figures, especially stopped down
  • Average flare resistance
  • Surprisingly good coma correction for an f/0.95 lens
  • Good build quality
  • Compact for what it is and reasonably priced
  • No electronic contacts / Exif data

The world’s fastest 35mm fullframe lens and also the world’s widest f/0.95 lens for fullframe. Compared to other affordable f/0.95 lenses the optics are surprisingly good, compared to the only other high quality f/0.95 lens (the Nikon 58mm 0.95) this Laowa lens is surprisingly compact and cheap.
Great choice for environmental portraiture when AF is not needed and tied for the lead with Sigma 35mm 1.2 for being the 35mm lens with the most appealing bokeh rendering.

795g | $899 | full Review | aperture seriessample images

buy from manufacturer’s homepage | | B&H (affiliate links)

Voigtlander 35mm 1.2 Nokton E

Status: borrowed from RobertWhite by Phillip for a couple of weeks

  • Very smooth bokeh most of the time
  • Sharp enough from wide open, optimized for portrait distance, stopped down the corners never reach excellent values, also thanks to some field curvature
  • Bad coma correction, not a good choice for astrophotography
  • Good flare resistance
  • High vignetting
  • Excellent handling and build quality
  • Nice sunstars
  • Great size/performance ration

If you are into manual focus this is currently the most compelling 35mm option. Nice bokeh, good contrast, good flare resistance, stopped down good enough sharpness and nice sunstars.

387g | $999 | Review | aperture seriessample images

buy from | | B&H | (affiliate links)


SLRmagic 35mm 1.2 Cine

review slr magic cine fe 35mm 1.2 f/1.2 full frame e-mount a7rii a7riii 42mp
Sony A7s | SLRmagic 35mm 1.2 Cine | f/1.2

Status: bought, reviewed and sold by Bastian.

  • Lots of background blur for the money
  • Very “classic” bokeh rendering with lots of outlining at maximum aperture, which gets smoother as you stop down
  • Optimized for portrait distance, so at f/1.2 decent sharpness only at this distance and lots of glow at infinity, corners at infinity never look really good
  • Bad coma correction, not a good choice for astrophotography
  • Bad flare resistance
  • Above average vignetting figures
  • Noticeable focus shift
  • Fuzzy sunstars
  • Cine lens with gears therefore not very pleasant to use for photography
  • Comparably cheap
  • No electronic contacts / Exif data

If you are looking for a fast 35mm lens that gives a “classic look” – meaning busy bokeh, mediocre sharpness and contrast and lots of optical aberrations – it is probably a better idea to go for the 7Artisans 35mm 1.4, which will only set you back $199 and is more enjoyable to use.

466g | $349 | full Review | aperture seriessample images

buy from | B&H | | (affiliate links)


Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 Nokton E Classic

voigtlander 35mm 1.4 nokton e classic review sony e-mount emount sharpness bokeh rendering vignetting
Sony A7rII | Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 Nokton E classic | f/1.4

Status: borrowed from German Voigtlander distributor by Bastian for a few weeks

  • Very “classic” (busy) bokeh rendering with lots of outlining from f/1.4 to f/2.0, this gets smoother as you stop down to f/2.8 or further
  • Needs to be stopped down to f/8 to f/11 for decent infinity performance and corners still not looking great
  • Bad coma correction, not a good choice for astrophotography
  • Good flare resistance stopped down, bad flare resistance at f/1.4 to f/1.7
  • High vignetting figures
  • Above average distortion
  • Noticeable focus shift
  • Well defined 10-stroke sunstars stopped down
  • Great handling and build quality
  • Expensive for what it is

I am not a big fan of this lens. At maximum aperture the optical qualities are similar to those of the 7Artisans 35mm 1.4 or SLRmagic 35mm 1.2 Cine, yet it is much more expensive. It is a better performer stopped down though and compared to the aforementioned lenses you get electronic contacts providing Exif data. I would rather recommend getting a used Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art and a new 7Artisans 35mm 1.4 instead for the same money. That way you will have a versatile and useful general purpose 35mm 1.4 lens and a cheap funky one, not only an expensive funky one.

262g | $799 | full Review | aperture seriessample images

buy from CameraQuest | B&H | | | (affiliate links)


7Artisans 35mm 1.4

Status: Borrowed from 7artisans by Phillip for a couple of weeks.

  • Soft at f/1.4, sharpens up to ok levels at f/2 and never gets very sharp across the frame in part because of the strong field curvature.
  • Very nervous bokeh wide open, smoother at f/2 and smooth by f/2.8.
  • Strong CA, flares and vignetting.
  • Fuzzy sunstars.
  • Very small and relatively light.
  • Very good build quality and excellent handling.
  • Very affordable
  • No electronic contacts / Exif data

A special effect lens with funky rendering at f/1.4, smoother rendering stopped down and lots of aberrations. It is pleasant to handle and affordable. Might be worth checking out if you are after different rendering but we can’t recommended it as a general purpose lens.

300g | $199 | full Review

buy from | | B&H (affiliate links)


Voigtländer 35mm 2.0 E Apo-Lanthar

voigtlander vm 35mm 2.0 e apo-lanthar review 42mp 61 mp sony a7riv a7rii a7riii contrast resolution sharpness bokeh
Voigtländer 35mm 2.0 Apo-Lanthar E | Sony A7III | f/2.0

Status: borrowed from Robert White by Bastian for a few weeks

  • Very good correction of most of the optical aberrations and therefore high image quality across the frame even at f/2.0
  • Less distracting bokeh than the Zeiss Loxia 35mm 2.0, but not as appealing as that of some of the other lenses on this list
  • Low distortion
  • Average flare resistance
  • Very good coma correction but also very high vignetting even stopped down, therefore not the ideal choice for astrophotography
  • Interesting aperture construction that is perfectly round at some apertures and yields well defined sunstars at others
  • Nice build quality

If you mainly use your 35mm lens for architecture or landscape shooting this is the one you are looking for. It offers very high contrast as well as resolution coupled with a good correction of almost all optical aberrations. It is in many ways the better Zeiss Loxia 35mm 2.0, but if you already have the Zeiss lens and you are thinking of upgrading: this only makes sense when you want to use the lens at wider apertures often.

353g | $1149 | full Review | sample images

buy from Robert White (UK) | Cameraquest (US) | B&H | | (affiliate links)


Zeiss 35mm 2.0 Loxia

sunstars zeiss loxia 35mm 2.0 fe e blue hour vernazza italy cinque terre sony a7s
Sony A7s | Zeiss Loxia 35mm 2.0 | f/11 | panorama from 5 shots |

Status: bought, reviewed and sold by Bastian. Bought by David and still in use.

  • Exceptional performer stopped down to f/8 to f/11 for landscape/architecture due to high contrast and resolution
  • Soft corners (mostly due to field curvature) at wider apertures
  • “Classic” (busy) bokeh rendering with lots of outlining at f/2.0, this gets smoother as you stop down
  • Low distortion
  • Average vignetting figures
  • Average flare resistance
  • Bad coma performance at f/2.0 to f/2.8, not a good choice for astrophotography
  • Well defined 10-stroke sunstars stopped down
  • Nice build quality (PocketPANO Lens-Grip recommended)
  • Expensive

If you are looking at this one because you are a happy with the Loxia 21mm, 25mm or 85mm you may be disappointed: this one is not playing in the same league.
It is a rather old rangefinder design “tweaked” for the E-mount cameras. It is a very good performer stopped down to f/8 to f/11 though with very high contrast, nice resolution and beautiful sunstars, but the bokeh at maximum aperture is rather busy and often distracting.

340g | $950 | full Review | aperture seriessample images

buy from | | B&H (affiliate links)


Adapted manual focus lenses

Zeiss 35mm 1.4 ZM

sunstar sun sunburst blendenstern diaphragm stroke 10 7 8 14 18
Sony A7rII | Zeiss ZM 35mm 1.4 Distagon | f/11

Status: bought, reviewed and sold by Bastian.

  • Across frame sharpness suffers a lot due to the thick Sony filter stack, this can be improved by adding a 5m PCX filter, but this will make the midzone dip even worse
  • Very high contrast makes it a great lens for stopped down landscape or architecture shooting
  • Mostly smooth bokeh
  • Decent coma correction but not a good choice for astrophotography due to the wavy field and above average vignetting figures
  • Very low but wavy distortion
  • Well defined 10-stroke sunstars stopped down
  • Very nice build quality
  • Very expensive

Suffers too much on Sony cameras due to the thick filer stack to justify its high price tag. The Voigtlander 35mm 1.7 VM simply works much better on Sony cameras.

381g + adapter | $1999 | full Review | aperture seriessample images

buy from | | B&H (affiliate links)


Voigtlander 35mm 1.7 Ultron VM

Sony A7rII | VM 35mm 1.7 + 5m PCX | f/1.7

Status: Bought, reviewed and sold by Phillip. Bought and still in use by Bastian.

  • Corner sharpness suffers a bit due to the thick Sony filter stack, this can be greatly improved by adding a 5m PCX filter. With filter across frame sharpness is already usable at f/1.7
  • Smoothest bokeh of all the manual focus 35mm lenses listed here
  • High contrast makes it a great lens for stopped down landscape or architecture shooting (not as high as Loxia or ZM, but only a very small difference)
  • Decent coma correction with 5m PCX filter and usable for astrophotography
  • Very good flare resistance, probably the best performance we have seen in a 35mm lens yet
  • High vignetting
  • Low distortion
  • Well defined 10-stroke sunstars stopped down
  • Nice build quality (some dislike the knurly focus ring though)
  • Decently priced

If you go through the trouble of adding a 5m PCX filter this smokes many native lenses in several categories. It is one of the few true allround lenses that works well (if not very well) for almost every application you can think of for a 35mm lens. The only real disadvantage: it is not a native lens, which would make it even more enjoyable to use.

238g + adapter | $809 | full Review | aperture seriessample images

buy from | B&H | | (affiliate links)


Nikon Nikkor 2.8/35

Status: Bought and still owned by Juriaan.

  • Sharp across the frame stopped down, therefore the Nikkor 2.8/35 is a good budget option for shooting landscapes
  • Flare resistance is quite good, especially for a legacy lens
  • Light and small
  • Great build quality, I really like the handling of this lens.
  • Bokeh can be busy at longer distances but is smooth near MFD
  • CA correction is average, luckily CA is still easy to correct
  • The lens can be used well with extension tubes
  • Only a little barrel distortion, therefore this lens is also suitable for architecture photography

I think the Nikon Nikkor 2.8/35 is a good option for those that like a well build manual lens but are running on a budget. The Nikkor is a decent landscape lens and I used it for that purpose a lot. It is optically in the same league as the Minolta MD 2.8/35, but build quality is nicer.

240g | 110$ | full review | sample images

Buy from | (affiliate links)


Minolta MD 2.8/35

Status: Used a lot by Phillip when he was still a poor student. 

  • Good sharpness from f/2.8 so it can be used for most applications.
  • Very sharp across the frame stopped down to f/8 though with stronger field curvature corners are focused in front of center.
  • Flare resistance is not up to modern standards but not catastrophic either.
  • Light and small
  • Good build quality by modern standards but only average for a legacy lens. See Nikkor 2.8/35 if this is very important to you.
  • Bokeh is mostly smooth, because it has only 6 aperture blades a bit edgy stopped down.
  • Average CA correction and vignetting.
  • Very affordable

The Minolta MD 2.8/35 is a good lens if you like to focus manually and work on a very limited budget. Optically it is about as good as the much smaller modern 2.8/35s. It can deliver very good results even on high resolution sensors. 

170g | $60 | my review | sample images

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Editor’s Choices

All of us have used many lenses and we all have bought and sold some of them for whatever reason. Nevertheless there are a few lenses that simply stick, so we decided to let each of us pick one of the aforementioned lenses and tell you why we like it and/or keep using it.

Bastian’s Choice: Sigma 35mm 1.2 Art, Voigtlander 35mm 1.7 VM + 5m PCX and Laowa 35mm 0.95

Sony A7rII | VM 35mm 1.7 | f/5.6

35mm is a very important focal length to me, this is also why I have reviewed so many 35mm lenses: to find the one that best fits my needs. The best allround 35mm lens I think exists is (still, even after the release of the Voigtlander 35mm 2.0 E Apo-Lanthar) the Voigtlander VM 35mm 1.7, which unfortunately suffers a bit on the Sony filterstack unless you use a 5m PCX filter, which makes it an astonishing lens even on Sony cameras.
It is sharp, contrasty, small, light and has nicer bokeh and better flare resistance compared to most other 35mm lenses. Over the last years this has been one of my most used lenses.

Sony A7rII | Sigma 35mm 1.2 Art | f/1.2

As I also often shoot reportage, concerts and weddings – and neither weight nor bulk bother me much here – I also wanted an AF lens with better subject separation. It really took until July ’19 for Sigma to finally release the lens I was looking for, the Sigma 35mm 1.2 GM Art. It feels and handles like a GM lens and for me is the perfect match to the Sony FE 85mm 1.4 GM, rendering a similarly smooth and pleasing bokeh. In fact it is so good that sometimes I use it even when I travel over the aforementioned Voigtlander.

laowa 35mm 0.95 worlds fastest lens review bokeh 42mp 61mp laowa venus optics venuslens fullframe contrast resolution bokeh optical vignetting fall off
Sony A7III | Laowa 35mm 0.95 | f/0.95

Unfortunately I couldn’t avoid to also buy the Laowa 35mm 0.95, it is the more compact alternative to the Sigma 35mm 1.2 Art with sometimes even more amazing bokeh rendering.


Jannik’s Choice: Sigma 35mm 1.2 Art

Jannik is busy at the moment but enjoys the Sigma 35mm 1.2 Art to take pictures of his son.


David’s Choice: Sony GM 35mm f1.4

My previous choice was both the Sigma 35mm 1.2, and the Loxia 35mm f2. The Loxia was a bit lacking at wide apertures, but compact and great stopped down for landscape, and the Sigma was great at all apertures but huge. I seem to have settled on a single 35mm lens now: the superb GM 35mm 1.4. Its sharpness at all apertures is exemplary and it’s  bokeh is as good as any 35 I’ve seen except the Sigma. Perhaps I would prefer some of that f1.2 goodness from the Sigma, but not when you compare these two: the bokeh difference is minimal, the size and weight difference immense. The GM can be your special occasion wide aperture lens, but it can also be your take everywhere lens.


Juriaans Choice: Nikon Nikkor 2.8/35

Until recently I was just another student without any budget for expensive lenses, therefore I only have used one 35 mm lens so far. For now it still does the job. Stopped down sharpness is very good and distortion is low.

a7II | Nikon 2.8/35

However, if budget was no constraint there are some other 35 mm options I would gladly give a try. The Voigtländer (M-mount)1.7/35 would fit my needs very well. It is sharp across the frame, has high contrast and very nice sunstars. It would fit well between my Voigtländer 4.5/15 and Loxia 2/50, which also render 10 stroke sunstars.

a7II | Nikon 2.8/35 | f/5.6


Phillip’s choice: Voigtlander 1.2/40

Well… I know, this is not a 35mm lens. I wish it were though, since 35mm are a bit more universal than 40mm and integrate better into many kits. I want my “35mm” to cover a wide range of applications with a focus on landscape and nature photography but I also want to use it to photograph people in different settings. I prefer to focus manually when I am taking nature images and I am competent enough to capture most social settings well with manual focus.

Before this I owned the Voigtlander 1.7/35 which is a little more compact and a bit better technically but it has no contacts so I had no exif and had to change focal length manually when swapping lenses. Also I found the focus ring and limited close-focusing abilities a bit annoying. By getting the 1.2/40 for it I gained much better handling and speed which outweighted the penalty in focal length, price and sharpness. Both the Loxia 2/35 and Voigtlander 1.4/35 don’t perform well enough for me at wider apertures.

I have reviewed a couple of AF 35mm lenses but usually they are annoying to focus manually and they lack nice sunstars and good flare resistance which I want for landscape images. So for know I stick with the 1.2/40 which is by far my most used lens but I still hope that one day there will be a Voigtlander 1.7/35 in E-mount which could be a bit more compact and be a bit sharper with nicer off-center bokeh.


Closing Remarks

We hope that this guide can help you in your purchase decision. If any questions are left unanswered don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Articles like this require many hours of work. If you found it helpful, you can support us by:

  • Using one of our affiliate links if you buy a lens (or anything else, diapers for example), won’t cost you anything extra but helps us a lot.
  • It also helps a lot if you share this article on social media and with your friends.

Thanks! Juriaan, David, Jannik, Bastian and Phillip

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The Team

The team, that are four gearheads: Bastian, Jannik and Phillip from Germany as well as David from Australia. All like to use manual lenses and have a passion for the outdoors. None the less they are specialized in different areas so they can provide you with a wider perspective.

87 thoughts on “Guide to best Sony E-Mount 35mm Lenses for a7III/a7II/a7rIV/a7RIII”

  1. I wonder why Cosina haven’t made E-mount version of their 35mm F1.7 with electronic contacts. Lack of F1.7-F2 lenses on E-mount could make it popular, even compared to M version, which has several competitors like Summircron or ZM.

    1. So far we have only seen 1 out of 6 lenses from the “Vintage” line being ported to E-mount.
      I guess we might get a 35mm 2.0 APO Lanthar at some point.

      1. I totally forgot about Loxia 35 F2. Since FE 35 F1.8 beats the Loxia in resolution, Cosina might make APO-Lanthar.

      2. A 2.0/35 APO Lanthar would indeed be welcome. However, since I’ve been using a ZM 1.4/35 almost exclusively for the past six months, I’d be delighted if Zeiss could port that design to a Loxia format to match the Sony filter stack. That would be something.

        1. I can see how that would appeal. Personally my preference is for a more compact manual 35 than that lens could be, and refer an AF lens for super fast use, but of course we all have different needs.

          1. The 35mm f/2 Summicron-M IV might be quite close to what you want–except in price. That pre-ASPH version seems to work well with the Sony filter stack.

          2. Hi, Bastian–

            No, I have no proof that the lens that I mentioned works well on the Sony bodies. I relied on the repeated posts in the dpreview Sony and Adapted Lenses forums by “Rol Lei Nut,” who has for years demonstrated an interest in a wide variety of lenses with an emphasis on a lightweight kit. Over recent years he’s posted information like this:


            I’ve been interested in the little Summicron that he’s mentioned repeatedly, but since I already have a 35mm that suits me (except for its weight) I’ve not been interested enough to buy one. If you were to test one and find it good, though. . . .

      3. Thank you for this Bastian. What would you recommend as the best 35 for concert photography…wide open apertures, fast AF, good and not too sensitive MF adjustments when the subjects are more still? I’ve been shooting 50 and 85 primes to date and shoot a lot of shows, but need a 35 prime to add to the bag. Thanks!

          1. size is no bother, but the fast and accurate AF and image stabilization would be my primary parameters, as well as sharpness of course. THanks!

        1. Oh, I meant the Sigma Art 1.4. That’s what I’m leaning towards now that they’ve done the firmware update and dropped the price a bit….

  2. It would have been interesting to have the 7artisans 35mm f2 in your list in order to compare with the others.
    Thanks for your nice work.

    1. We haven’t read a single good word on this lens being used on a Sony camera and considering the super low price of the 7Artisans 35mm 1.4 there is little to no point using that one.

  3. Ich liebe Eure Berichte – duch diese habe ich als überzeugter Fuji – Fan zur A7iii gewechselt – und es nicht bereut.

    Eine kleine Ergänzung, das Minolta M-Rokkor 2/40 mm mit Leica M-Bajonet ist auch eine grandiose Linse.

    Offen noch weich, aber ab F 2,8 besser und ab F4 sehr gut mit tollen definierten, Sonnensternen.

    Wenn beim Team Interesse besteht, leihe ich es gerne für einen Bericht Euch aus.

    Macht weiter so, Gruß ans Team!

    1. Ich sehe die Stärken des Objektivs, wir hatten allerdings schon Schwierigkeiten uns bei den 35mm Objektiven auf die genannten zu beschränken und im Kreise des Teams hat bisher keiner das Objektiv genutzt, da wir alle mehr Wert auf Offenblenleistung und Gegenlichtresistenz legen.

  4. That’s a great summary article, extremely informative! Though I’m in strong doubts, whether I need the 35 mm lens at all, given the presence of 17-28, 28/2 and 55 mm in my kit. This segment already looks overcrowded.

    But, for new adopters to Sony the right 35 mm lens may be a jack of all trades. Probably it worth making a similar article about 50-mm lenses?..

    1. We are already in internal discussion about such an article for 50mm lenses but we might split it into two (one for super fast 50s and one for not so fast 50s).

        1. These articles are not that much fun to put together though and we often have debates about balancing out the ratings and apsects of each lens compared to the others.
          Therefore it might take some time before we have the 50mm one(s) ready 🙂

  5. Did you consider Tamron SP 35mm f1.4 in Canon Mount with the MC-11 adapter? Good (or great) MTF and reviews. Thanks for your interesting comparisons.

  6. Very good and thorough article. I’ll keep it in mind..when I got the Canon EF 35/2 IS USM it made my Sony 28/2 and various legacy 35 2,8s redundant (sharper, nicer bokeh). Can’t align my eyes with Sony’s belated 35/1,8’s bokeh, nor its price. The new Tamron 35 2,8 is interesting because I tend to use these at mfd and wide open..but the price in Europe is not near USD349. (USD 349 is approx what you get a used in good condition EF 35/2 IS USM for. With the MC11 its downfall might be the AF that won’t work for AF points close to the sides, nor will any points work in gloomy conditions, but optically and how it feels in the hand it’s a priceworthy thing)

  7. The CV 1.2/40 is absolute magic. And the automatic focusing aids make manually focusing it a lot of fun. If I could afford to… and I might stretch to find a way… I’d use it for stills and grab something slower + cheaper for video. The 35 ART is a good all arounder for the money though.

  8. Amazing how bitter you guys often get over Sony 1.4/35 ZA. Feels like an ex that hurt your feelings really bad. We know how independent reviews can get emotional, right?

    1. I think we all agree about the objective performance of that lens.

      Of course how one feels about a lens; how much that objective performance is annoying varies depending on one’s own personal history with it.
      I was lucky: I got a good copy, pretty even across the frame, on my first try. With good AF, decent contrast, nice bokeh and usable at many apertures I was quite happy with it – especially as it was better than most 1.4/35 lenses released up to that date. Though when I borrowed the Simga Art 1.4 and found it was slightly better (albeit with worse AF) I was surprised. That lens is a lot sharper wide open; enough to be more useful at f1.4 (once again to be fair you can’t say that about any previous 1.4/35)

      But anyone who has gone through many copies (and I know many people, not even necessarily picky ones who have done that) and found them unsatisfactory will be very annoyed. And looking at Rogers variation chart at Lensrentals, you see that you have no idea how one of these will perform – each one is so different. Some are pretty sharp centrally, but crappy at the edges. Others are pretty even, but only OK centrally. Others are sharp on one side of the image, but not the others. I remember and arugument between Rishi at DPR and a friend. Rishi said it was very even – more than Sigma, but much less good in the centre. The other said it was great in the centre, but crap at the periphery. Eventually they realised they were both right about their own copies! So if you have suffered (and it’s not a cheap lens) this way, yes emotion is likely!

      Now if you have a good copy, I wouldn’t recommend selling it unless you want the 1.2/35 Sigma, which is way better than the best copies. It’s also way bigger and heavier, and I can totally understand not wanting that (I went this route, because I use a lighter smaller 35 than either for travel or landscape). The Sigma 1.4 may be a little better optically, but it’s a bit bigger, heavier and has worse AF. There’s no doubt a good copy of ZA gets the job done.

      Bt if you don’t have a 1.4/35, I concur with Bastian that it’s probably not wise to buy the ZA rather than the Sigma 1.4, given what a lottery it is, and the price difference.

    2. I noticed this too. No love for the good, old ZA and all the love for the new heavyweight champion Sigma 1.2, at least until a Sony 35mm F1.4 GM shows up… As I received my ZA when all the stars were perfectly aligned, it “gets the job done” (i.e. produces superb photographs) for the time being. In fact, if I could only own one lens, it would be this 35mm F1.4 ZA. On a low MP body (like my A7III) it is even useable for landscapes stopped down…

  9. A very comprehensive article, nice work! I will add several additional manual 35mm lens options from Voidgtlendar, maybe they can be included in the future.

    (1) Voidgtlendar 35mm F2 Ultron : A rather new lens for Leica M mount. Very good vintage looking lens with modern optical design.

    (2) Voidgtlendar 35mm F1.4 Nokton: The M mount predecessor of the E mount version with very similar characteristics. Price is cheaper and I would say it looks more attractive.

    (3) Voidgtlendar 35mm F2.5 Color-Skopar: A little nice M mount lens, seems working well on Sony body too.

  10. I wish Voigtländer make a 35mm Apo-Lanthar for Sony E-Mount cameras. It’ll be grate if it is f1.7 or f1.8 vs f2.0.
    Or a 35mm f1.2 Nokton E aspherical.
    I love small lenses.

  11. I am quite happy with my Sigma 35mm 1.4 which is on my camera most of the time, but I still find myself using the lens the sigma was supposed to replace, an older canon FD 35mm f2 convex as I think it is does quite well for B&W photos.

    1. I read varying reports on it.
      It will suffer the same as all the other fast rangefinder lenses and it is too big to attach a 5m PCX filter, so I am not too interested.
      The Voigtländer 40mm 1.2E is probably the better choice here.

      1. Bastian, you are one of Voigtlander photographers. Could you please tell them we need a new 35mm f1.2 or 1.4 or 1.7 for sony EF??

          1. Thank you for your answer.
            It is not a good news about a big company like Cosina. I’ll send an email and ask them why they do not upgrade their old 35mm sony lens.

  12. Hi, thanks for the great and competent reviews. I also prefer light and compact lenses and easily accept MF if it saves a kilo or two ;-).
    Now that Voigtländer announced the 35mm 1.2 Nokton for e-mount in May 2020 – I would like to get an early opinion from you as to the comparison with the Sigma 35 1.2. Is the new Nokton (almost) as good for wedding pics as the Sigma? Can I save kilos here or better not?
    Sorry, I don’t get lenses for testing from manufacturers for free. If I want to use I have to buy but it’s hard to return after purchasing here in Switzerland neither is renting an option in my area. So obviously your tests and opinions are very much appreciated.

  13. I always follow your reviews with interest. I keep picking up interesting things from there. Now I would like to purchase a 35 mm lens for my street photography in addition to my Sony FE 50 mm 1.4. Which would be your first choice in this? Thanks in advance.

  14. Hey! Great review! Love the site! also!
    Quick question, I’ve been looking to buy the CV 35mm 1.7 with the 5mm pcx adapter, but has proven to be difficult considering that I live in Chile :D. Do you have a recommend shop where i could gather all the required pieces or have all the lens plus adapter assembled? 😀 Thanks for your time 😀 !

    1. Unfortunately I think there is no shop selling all the components.
      But apart from the Optosigma filter itself the other parts should be easily available even in Chile, nothing special 😊

  15. Hello! Is there any vintage lens in the 30-40mm range that can at least somewhat keep up with the Sigma 35mm 1.2 Art? I’m kinda in love with vintage lenses, don’t need AF and all that jazz and sora on a budget.

  16. Very nice discussion. Don’t overlook weather sealing. When inclement skies appear it is my Batis 40 which does the job, and it focuses very close. It’s also very light weight. Using a threaded 67mm hood (such as the hood from my V’lander 65) atop a CPL is slick. Wish it made aperture stars, but for that I have a Loxia 35. When Phillip reviewed the Batis 40 he was critical of the throttled maximum aperture at MFD, however at MFD I am usually using f/11-f/16 for needed DOF. And at wide apertures focused on infinity it maintains corner sharpness.

  17. Just when you finished a very useful and comprehensive list, two new and very interesting alternatives are launched, sigma 35/2 dg dn and the long awaited sony 35/1.4 gm. Both relatively light and compact.

    I’m already looking forward to your reviews. In particular your view of their rendering. Could the little sigma perhaps be an AF equivalent to the ultron? Or the gm a half as large alternative to the enormous sigma 35/1.2?

    1. I have to agree — this is a terrific analysis, but Sony might have thrown a wrench into things. The weight of the new Sony GM 35mm f1.4 makes it incredibly appealing as a fast autofocus option for those of us who are balking at the Sigma because it’s so massive — sincerely hope the guys will have an opportunity to review it!

  18. I’ve a Sony A7II, I’m looking for a compact and ligthweight lens (a 28mm or a 35mm) with a decent aperture ( 2.8 it’s already good for my use) and tropicalized for my travels ( I use to travel with motorbike), Trekking session and Climbing sessions.

    I would love something such as the tamron 35mm F2 (close-up possibility, tropicalized, cheap, lihtweight), but I’m afraid of the AF (I’ve read the AF is not so good).
    Some alternatives are the Sigma 35mm F2, or the SOny 35mm 1.8..
    I don’t need a supefast AF ( landscapes, statics subjects, travel photos or people).. what do you suggest me?
    Does the Tamron AF is so bad?

    1. Have a closer look at the Sigma 2/35 which both David and I appreciate a lot. It is the 35mm lens we have been waiting for so long: Relatively compact, very smooth rendering, good optical correction overall, great build quality, and relatively affordable. Macro is a weakness though: It doesn’t focus very close and it has quite a bit of SA and lower sharpness at close distances.

      If macro is a priority though, then the Tamron is an option. Yes, the AF is annoying but it does 1:2, is super sharp and very affordable.

    2. In my experience the autofocus is just slow not bad otherwise and it’s the optically superior lens. If you don’t need the lightening fast autofocus just get the Tamron

  19. Hello, and thanks for all your hard work documenting all this! As I’m writing this, Sony’s f/1.8 is on sale for 500€, whereas Sigma’s f/2 costs 600€ here in Germany. Is it worth the 100€ increase in price?

  20. What about the newer Sigma 35mm 1.4 ART DG DN? It is considerably lighter and smaller than the original HSM version.

    1. Hi Derek, it is indeed a fine lens, using it for a few months now. While it’s not in the same league as the 1.2 and the Sony GM 1.4, it still improved a lot over the older sigma ART version, is much cheaper and lighter then the 1.2 / Sony GM, has fast AF, weather sealing, aperture ring… I think it more competes against the Sony FE 1.8, but didn’t like the rendering of the 1.8…

  21. Do any of y’all have experience with the Zeiss C/Y Distagon 35mm f2.8? You can find them for <$250 and they apparently outperform the 35mm 2.4 flektogon in terms of corner sharpness and resolve colors and contrast at the same level. Thinking of getting one.

    1. Purchasing my voigt 40mm 1.2 SE can wait lol. The Zeiss will get more expensive over time and the voigt will get cheaper over time

      1. Scott, I’ve got the 50/1.2 SE and it’s simply my favorite lens on a7rii, and that’s comparing to some stiff competition like the 50/2 APO and 65/2 APO), quite simply it restored my love of photography and helped me like/love my images again, hope you enjoy the 40/1.2 and it does the same for you.

        1. Thanks! I appreciate the rec. I actually had the 50mm 1.2 for a while and I really liked it’s rendering but I actually sold it because I preferred the rendering and focal length of my Nokton 58mm 1.4 and I couldn’t justify owning a $900 lens that I thought wasn’t as good as the 58mm, which I paid like $350 for. Now I have an itch for a 35-40mm lens. I will get the 40mm eventually, just not now

  22. If you had no lenses at all currently and were building a kit with a 35mm what 35mm would you choose for yourself? It will in no way influence my decision I’ve already purchased a 35 I’m quite happy with, I would just love to hear a take from each of you

  23. Hi,

    Canon EOS R shooter here.
    If size, weight and MF are not a problem, would you recommend adapting the Zeiss Milvus 1.4/35 ZE?
    I’ll be shooting environment portraits and occasionally landscapes.

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Tony,
      those are a lot of ifs 🙂

      I am well aware some of the latest and greatest 35s I mention here (Sigma 35mm 1.2 Art DG DN / Sony FE 35mm 1.4 GM / Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art DG DN) are not available for Canon R (at least as of today).
      If you strive for the best image quality in a 35mm f/1.4 manual focus lens the Milvus 35mm 1.4 is indeed your best option I am aware of.
      Personally I wonder what it would give you over the noticeably smaller and lighter Canon EF 35mm 1.4L II and Tamron 35mm 1.4 – maybe the best allround 35mm 1.4 SLR lenses ever to see the light of day and night – though.

  24. Thanks for the thorough review! I’m surprised you didn’t even mention the Yongnuo 35mm f2S, as it is a strong contender for good bokeh imo, which you know is not common in this focal range. And it is autofocus (works quite nicely), it is relatively well built and it is very cheap (can be had new for 250€). Any reason this lens wasn’t included in the comparison?

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